How to claim Ontario’s $250 COVID catch-up payments
Ontario is launching its fourth round of direct payments for parents, with $200 or $250 intended to help students get back on track after two years of disruption and setbacks as a result of COVID-19.
This amid even more impending chaos in schools, as labor disputes could lead to the cancellation of classes this Friday across Ontario. While Premier Doug Ford’s government introduced a bill to enforce contracts and ban a strike, CUPE says its 55,000 workers will still walk off the job in protest on Friday.
While the intent of the payments is to help students resume learning, the province recognizes that families can use the additional funding to help reduce the cost of living, as the cost of groceries and other goods continues to reach record levels.
Here’s how Ontario’s “catch-up” payment works.
Who is eligible?
You are eligible to apply if you are the parent or guardian of a K-12 student, an 18-year-old high school student, or the family or guardian of a K-21 student years old who needs special education.
The province defines “special education students” as those who receive special education programs or services from their school board, or any student with special education needs.
Parents or guardians applying for funding must be residents of Ontario.
The province says students who learn remotely, are home-schooled and attend in-person are eligible for payments.
Students must attend a public, private, First Nations or federally operated school to be eligible.
Students in adult education and continuing education programs for people over the age of 18 are not eligible.
Only one parent or guardian per student will receive the funding, which depending on the province, is intended to support tutoring services or fund supplies and equipment.
How much can you claim?
The rollout of the « Catch Up » payment comes with a one-time payment of $200 for each student between kindergarten and grade 12, up to age 18.
Parents or guardians of students with special needs between kindergarten and grade 12 up to age 21 can claim $250.
To receive payment, parents or guardians must apply by March 31, 2023.
How do I request the « Catch Up » payment?
Ontario Parents can apply on the province’s website. Parents or guardians who apply must create a separate profile for each eligible student.
High school students aged 18 can apply for the one-time payment themselves.
A single application including the student’s date of birth, school and school board must be completed. The information provided must match school records if the student is enrolled at a publicly funded institution.
Only the first application from each eligible student will be processed.
Depending on the method of payment, parents must provide their banking information for wire transfer or direct deposit.
A request to receive the one-time payment by check is also available if parents cannot provide a valid email address for wire transfer or banking information for direct deposit.
The province says requesting the one-time funding by check will result in longer wait times to receive payment.
A form must be completed before submitting the application. Once completed, a confirmation number for tracking the status of the application will be provided.
What happens after I apply?
Parents or guardians will receive a confirmation email within five business days that the request has been received.
The province says it will take applicants “a few weeks” to receive payment, with some applications taking longer to verify due
An inaccurate or incomplete application may result in a delay or denial of funding.
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